mental entities to describe such things as social entities like 'race', or nations, or language itself even?
Social constructionism and social constructivism are sociological theories of knowledge that consider how social phenomena or objects of consciousness develop in social contexts.
A social construction (also called a social construct) is a concept or practice that is the construct (or artifact) of a particular group. When we say that something is socially constructed, we are focusing on its dependence on contingent variables of our social selves rather than any inherent quality that it possesses in itself.
The underlying assumptions on which social constructivism is typically seen to be based are reality, knowledge, and learning.
The work introduced the term social construction into the social sciences and was strongly influenced by the work of Alfred Schütz.
The central concept of The Social Construction of Reality is that persons and groups interacting in a social system form, over time, concepts or mental representations of each other's actions, and that these concepts eventually become habituated into reciprocal roles played by the actors in relation to each other.
When these roles are made available to other members of society to enter into and play out, the reciprocal interactions are said to be institutionalised.
In the process of this institutionalisation, meaning is embedded in society.
Knowledge and people's conception (and belief) of what reality is becomes embedded in the institutional fabric of society.
Reality is therefore said to be socially constructed.
Biological classification, or scientific classification in biology, is a method of scientific taxonomy used to group and categorize organisms into groups such as genus or species. These groups are known as taxa (singular: taxon).
Jennifer Lee and Dalton Conley discuss the difference between race and ethnicity
Race is a classification system used to categorize humans into large and distinct populations or groups by heritable phenotypic characteristics, geographic ancestry, culture, history, language, physical appearance, ethnicity, and social status. In the early twentieth century the term was often used, in a taxonomic sense, to denote genetically differentiated human populations defined by phenotype.
While biologists sometimes use the concept of race to make distinctions among fuzzy sets of traits, others in the scientific community suggest that the idea of race is often used in a naive or simplistic way, i.e. that among humans, race has no taxonomic significance: all living humans belong to the same species, Homo sapiens. Social conceptions and groupings of races vary over time, involving folk taxonomies that define essential types of individuals based on perceived traits. Scientists consider biological essentialism obsolete, and generally discourage racial explanations for collective differentiation in both physical and behavioral traits.
Since the second half of the twentieth century the associations of race with the ideologies and theories that grew out of the work of 19th-century anthropologists and physiologists has led to the use of the word race itself becoming problematic.
Although still used in general contexts, it is now often replaced by other words which are less emotionally charged, such as populations, people(s), ethnic groups or communities depending on context.
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members are identified through a common trait.
This can, but does not have to, include an idea of common heritage, a common culture, a shared language or dialect.
The group's ethos or ideology may also stress common ancestry and religion, as opposed to an ethnic minority group which refers to race. The process that results in the emergence of an ethnicity is called ethnogenesis.
Some ethnic groups are marked by little more than a common name.
In its modern scientific connotation, the term is not applicable to a species as genetically homogeneous as the human one, as stated in the declaration on race (UNESCO 1950, re-ratified 1978).
Genetic studies have substantiated the absence of clear biological borders; thus the term "race" is rarely used in scientific terminology, either in biological anthropology and in human genetics.
What in the past had been defined as "races"—whites, blacks, or Asians—are now defined as "ethnic groups" or "populations", in correlation with the field (sociology, anthropology, genetics) in which they are considered.
Horizontal honor is defined as the “right to respect among an exclusive society of equals.”
Horizontal honor = mutual respect. But don’t let the term “mutual respect” fool you. We’re not talking about the sort of watered-down “respect-me-simply-because-I’m-a-human-being” kind of respect that pervades our modern culture. For horizontal honor to mean anything, it must be contingent upon certain unyielding standards in order to maintain honor within the group.
The existence of horizontal honor is premised on three elements:
A code of honor
An honor group
Vertical honor, on the other hand, isn’t about mutual respect, but is rather about giving praise and esteem to those “who are superior, whether by virtue of their abilities, their rank, their services to the community, their sex, their kinship, their office, or anything else.” Vertical honor, by its nature, is hierarchical and competitive. Vertical honor goes to the man who not only lives the code of honor, but excels at doing so.
So, vertical honor = praise, esteem, admiration.
In What Is Honor? Alexander Welsh makes the case that for vertical honor to exist, horizontal honor must first be present. Without a baseline of mutual respect among equal peers (horizontal honor), winning praise and esteem (vertical honor) means very little.
edit: How may we devise better social constructs than those of the past which foster a more accurate path from wherever we are currently with our JCA, "joy, contentment, and appreciation", towards where we may want to be with the least pain, suffering, disability, and early death (PSDED).
If— If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too: If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim, If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same: If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss: If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much: If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Perhaps the above 'honor codes' would be better directed towards a JCA, "joy, contentment, and appreciation", so as to better maximize the benefit of optimal mental states for everyone. And to do this, we each would need to discover agreements on motivational states which would expedite our acquisition of these new behaviors which target this JCA.
BASIC CONCEPTS One’s brain (and central nervous system in general) is crucial to one’s functioning. Engaging in those things that foster the health of the brain include preventing head injury, refraining from taking toxic substances, refraining from taking substances that alter brain function in unpredictable or detrimental ways, avoiding sleep deprivation, avoiding stress (such as abusive or otherwise unhealthy relationships), recognizing and treating early any brain disorders (such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.), and providing the brain with proper exercise of all of its beneficial functions (development and maintenance of skills). Recognizing that the “mind” is a model of brain function that is more useful in discussion of the “programming” of the brain, we may readily see that the sensory diet that is presented to it is important. There is currently increasing attention to the evidence that certain kinds of media presented to the mind, especially the youthful mind, can have very significant effects on the mental health and capacity for optimal functioning of the individual. There is also ample evidence that individuals can alter their thinking such as to produce positive effects on their quality of life and their functioning, as has been referred to as positive thinking and good mental hygiene. The importance of recreation and pleasure in our lives, the experiencing of good feeling through entertainment and positive interactions with others, is recognized by many, and probably will be supported increasingly with findings from science. I personally believe that there is a mental hygiene benefit to exercising the “pleasure centers” in the brain (whatever parts of the brain are involved in the experiencing of pleasure). When individuals lose the capacity to experience pleasure, their ability to function deteriorates significantly. Taking care of one’s possessions means keeping them organized, attractive, and well-functioning. Organization leads to greater efficiency and better time management. Attractiveness leads to positive feeling and higher motivation. Any tools will serve us better if they are better able to do what they are designed to do, whether they are carpentry tools, kitchen equipment, the computer, a musical instrument, or one’s sports equipment with which one improves the functioning of one’s body and entertains others (helps them exercise their “pleasure centers”). As stated, the above paragraphs are meant only to be suggestive of a more complete list of the ways in which taking care of one’s body, brain, mind, and possessions helps one to do one’s part in making the world a better place. Most of these efforts involve increasing or maintaining one’s capabilities, and they represent being concerned about the very center of one’s sphere of influence. Let us now look at what it means to make the world a better place. Again, we should remember that what we are adding to our survival as a species is the promotion of the good life for all of us, now and in the future. This means promoting as much joy, appreciation, and contentment as possible and preventing as much pain, suffering, disability, and early death as possible. It means avoiding immediate pleasure that produces suffering in the future, either our own or that of others. It means treating others well, even if our basic animal nature would promote our doing otherwise. We will never be able to achieve perfection in these efforts, but that does not mean that we can do nothing at all. In fact, we can see many ways in which we are able, or are becoming able, to promote the good life. But these ways always involve individuals doing their part.
Basics: Determinants Of Behavior Now we have noted that “imagination,” as described in this book, is a capability that has been developed by some species, in which a model of a situation or sequence of events can be activated, not by incoming stimuli, but by a “higher level” model that calls forth this model. The animal “imagines” X happening and therefore imagines Z happening. We would model this with the proposition, “If X happens, then Z will happen.” Note that when the animal makes this prediction, even though it is not produced by incoming stimuli, but instead by an imagined situation, the prediction may nevertheless also induce a motivational state. For example, the animal could imagine a situation that would produce a prediction that induces fear, anger, etc. If Pavlov’s dog were to have the capability of imagination, it might imagine the bell ringing and thus begin to salivate, even though no bell had rung. For us humans, obviously we are able to decide to imagine, for instance, a favorite meal, and thereby induce an increase in hunger. The same would be true for imagining a sexual situation and experiencing sexual arousal, or, for some, imagining a storm and experiencing fear.
The primary emphasis of Reversal Theory lies in the concept of reversals - by "triggering" a reversal between states, we can change the meaning attributed to the situation. What seemed serious before, can suddenly feel exciting with the right change in situation or mindset. Reversals can be created by changing a situation, reframing it, role playing, or using specific symbols or props that invoke a specific state (e.g., a toy can help trigger the Paratelic/Playful state; the image of a traffic sign may invoke the Conforming state).
Reversal Theory links the motivational states above to emotion by proposing that if one is in a state and things are going well, positive emotions result; if the needs of the state are not fulfilled, negative emotions result.
Notice how this material, under "Reversals and emotion," makes use of vague and undefined terminology, and uses language differently than the passage quoted before it. I believe that this current linguistic communication produces a sense of passivity in the reader, along the lines of, "Well, it sounds like it is right, whatever it means. Yes, I sort of see what it means." The language is quite metaphoric ("triggering," "mindset," "reframing," "props.") and ambiguous. My hope in what I write is to produce a confident sense in the reader regarding the meaning of what is written.
All of us have some sort of "philosophy of life," even though we may not have verbalized it. Here you can get ideas for your own philosophy of life. You can see what others think of your own philosophical ideas, and you can help others to become clearer in their own thinking.
When there is difference of opinion, we have an opportunity for "friendly debate," a very growth-promoting experience.